By Blaire Bussey
Reneé Rapp, the up-and-coming American singer-songwriter, actress, and Broadway star released her debut album Snow Angel on Aug. 18th. Since then, she has already performed at all her Snow Hard Feelings Tour stops in Texas, alongside opening acts Towa Bird and Alexander 23. I had the honor of attending the show at Stubb’s in Austin and the experience felt so much more incredible than attending a typical Monday night show.
This concert was an experience in every sense of the word. The music was booming in our bones, people were dancing everywhere the eye could see, and everyone in the crowd was having a blast while the performers rocked the stage. These three artists worked together to create an unforgettable night at a sold-out venue. Rapp’s gang of icons-in-the-making shook Austin’s world Monday night.
The sun was blazing as the crowd entered the venue, and from the start, the heat of a sold-out show was setting in. It was refreshing to see the venue passing out mass amounts of free water to the crowd. At some point, so much water had been passed out that a few people around me had more than they needed and were trying to give their waters to thirstier parties.
Before too much time had passed, the show began and the party started. Bird was the perfect opening act for the show. While it seemed as though not many people were familiar with her music, her stage presence left nothing to be desired. Bouncing from stage to crowd while still delivering amazing lyrics backed by incredible instrumental accompaniment. Bird might be a recently discovered artist, but she is no novice to the art of live performance.
Maintaining a crowd’s energy for an entire performance is no small feat when you’re an opening act, especially with many crowds lacking concert etiquette since the COVID-19 pandemic. This was no problem for Bird. This may have been the most engaged I have seen a crowd act during an opening set in a long time.
And let’s not forget to mention the second opener, Alexander 23. While he was not as active onstage, he was more comfortable talking to the crowd directly for periods of time. Whereas Bird was lively and energetic, Alexander 23 was interactive and took a different approach to opening by creating a bond with the crowd through speech. Additionally, the setlist was carefully curated to ensure the crowd’s adoration, including but not limited to a cover of “Steal My Girl” by One Direction that had the entire venue chanting every word.
Finally, Rapp took the stage and time stopped as the audience roared at the sight of her. The show’s concept is interesting – the setlist was split into categories according to the four seasons, possibly to illustrate feelings that manifest in those months – and Rapp’s vocals were flawless during her set. The notes were supported, the runs were spot-on, and the overall performance was extremely dynamic. Rapp’s energy was infectious as she led an all-night dance party. Even when Rapp spoke to the crowd they hung on her every word, which is likely because her courage to be herself onstage permeates her every action.
All in all, these three artists crafted a show that will last forever in the minds of its attendees; even more so, they established themselves as artists to watch as they make even more progress throughout their music careers. Think twice before skipping the Snow Hard Feelings Tour, or you just might miss out on the chance to see three incredibly bright rising stars.
Written by: Danielle De Lucia